Achel Trappist Extra - Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

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Achel Trappist ExtraAchel Trappist Extra

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

418 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 418
Reviews: 208
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 104
Gots: 42 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: dsa7783 on 01-22-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 418 | Reviews: 208 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bditty187
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hazy, reddish-brown in hue with the slightest bit of purple-copper highlight; nice! Creamy foam, a thick mass of bubbles created two fingers of head. I had to short pour my chalice as the head was so ample. Head retention was great; the bubbles slowly faded to a small but thick cap. It looks like freaking concrete. Awesome head related qualities! There was loads of subsequent lacing, not quite tattered wallpaper but impressive nevertheless. So in sum, this is a great looking beer! Dare I say… perfect? I do.

I’ve had this beer before and was so impressed with it. As I sit here and smell this example the nose just is not popping in malty richness. Red wine notes with an almost sour maltiness following, vaguely fruity… weak hints of alcohol, caramel, and chocolate. It took a few moments of deep sniffing before I could unlock any rich maltiness and still it was very faint. Moderate potency, somewhat chatty but it is not what I remember. The last time I had this was at a Trappist beer tasting, I thought it was right behind Rochefort 10 as the best of the night (there was no Westy beers… BTW, Westy 8 is better than 12). Based on this sample, it is nowhere near that good. Better than Chimay Red or Blue but what isn’t. Zing! Anyway, I’m finding this somewhat simple but it is inviting.

The palate is pretty damn awesome. Again, I don’t find it nearly as deep or rich as before and I don’t taste the chocolate as well nor is the raisins, plums, or apples are noticeable. The bottle I have was purchased from the same beer tasting where it impressed me so. Odd. Maybe I just tried this after drinking a Chimay or something. Zing! Okay, back to reality… the palate is very good (really good!) as there are plenty of alcohol infused fruit notes with molasses hints, brown sugar notes, and spiced rum cookies at the back. Yummy. Ticklish sweetness at the finish and it lingers into the aftertaste with hints of cherries. Fairly warm aftertaste… calm but lively, I am really impressed at how the beer revs up for the finish and cools so nicely for the aftertaste. The flavor profile has really grown on me; it starts slow but finishes strong. What a great freaking beer!

Slightly fuller then medium in body, very creamy and smooth carbonation creates a beer that is silky smooth on the tongue. I absolutely adore the mouthfeel, for a beer this big and this complex the mouthfeel is stunning.

Aside from the nose this beer has pretty much delivered from what I recall. I think this beer is absolutely great and kind of overlooked. But what do I know. There are so many great beers that get little play on BA while a handful of others get mentioned to the point of nausea. Back to the point… this beer is very drinkable, dangerously so. At this point in the review I’d like to suggest some clever food pairing, well, not today. I am tired and this beer has soaked my brain. All I can say is what a great night cap! I am happy to say I purchased this beer in Omaha! I can’t wait until I can buy it somewhat regularly. I am deeply impressed.

Photo of beerphilosopher
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Westmalle chalice (okay, it's close enough) from a green-tinted 750ml bottle, capped. Bottle label looks different than is pictured here. Looks more like the standard Achel 8 label ... but is definitely the 'Extra' at 9.5% abv. Anyway, this one extracts from the bottle as a warm, dark brown with ruby highlights. A thick cocoa tan head appears and likes to stick around. To look at this beer, you know there's a lot going on here. Nose is glorious ... yeast, sweet malts, stewed fruits, and a hint of spice ... okay, quite smelling and start drinking, right.Palate is sweet ... sweeter than the Brune ... very malty and warm. Tastes of Belgian yeast, plums, mollases, and alcohol. Very dark, very sweet, and assertive taste. This beer is a heavyweight ... in taste more than body. This is akin to the Brune in a lot of ways, but stronger and much more assertive. I really enjoy the sheer "power" of this 'Extra' over the other Achel offerings. You know you're drinking something substantial here for sure. Wow ... I still have a half of a 750 ml bottle left. A bit too much for one sitting, perhaps, especially on an empty stomach. Bet it'll still be excellent tomorrow ... "Authentic Trappist" ... this one is worthy to be tried along with the others, though older.

Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle picked up in Buffalo a while back.

Pours a cloudy dark orange and brown, some red highlights, very chunky, lots of protein floating around, thick white head forms, and drops to a thick ring, tons of chunky lace on the glass, looks pretty great. Smell is great, caramel, dark fruits, raisins, candi sugar, yeast, orange peel, some spice, very nice stuff. Taste is better, sweet up front, caramel and bread, tons of fruit, yeast, wood, oranges, strawberries, light spice, bitter spiciness in the finish, alcohol jumps out a bit, but is very well hidden. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, very easy to drink, think I paid $18 and worth every penny. Need to revisit the other Achels because this one is the bomb.

Photo of jwinship83
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml capped bottle with a best by date of april 2011. drank from my chimay goblet.

A- this one pours out a murky dark brown colored body with a finger and a half of lasting beige colored head. complete rings of lacing are left behind. perfect.

S- sweet dark malts upfront. brown sugar adds to the sweetness. pretty fruity with pears, apples, plums, and raisins. a little bit of spicy hops at the end. im liking this one so far.

T- sweet dark sugary malts up front with a slight nuttiness to it. lots of sweet and ripe summer fruits. cherries, plums, figs, raisins, and pears. maybe some apple in here also. very complex.

M- light to medium bodied with a high level of carbonation, which is normal for the style. fluffy feeling, if that makes sense to anyone other than myself.

D- an extremely under appreciated beer. a little pricey at 18$ a bottle, but something ill go back and grab another of. very enjoyable. seek this one out.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Trying this on the recommendation of stonecrusher.

It pours a deep murky brown color with a finger of head that grows tow two with the cascading bubbles. Retention is beyond belief. I have never seen a head grow on a beer after pouring it. The nose is sweet fig, brown sugar and a nice spiceyness to balance things out. Very nice indeed. The flavor is intense. Fig and raisin dominates, but there is a sherry-like quality to it. It almost has an almond or sweet cherry character to it, but muted. It is not overly sweet, and maybe a touch drying on the finish. The feel is solid moderate with a big bubbly carbonation. keeping it light on my tongue. Super flavor, super aroma, no hint of almost 10% ABV. Damn find beer. Very glad I have one in the cellar.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the label, "...the weighty undeniable Extra" (Alias). 750ml bottle with import packaging that differs from the label indicated, with 9.5.% ABV . Foam creeps up and out of the bottle slowly (thankfully) after opening. With great care, one is able to pour gently without disturbing the contents. A shallow layer of bubbles settles out quickly. A couple of shades lighter than cola, but just as clear. Little lacing generated. The smell is large, complex and amazing; rich and earthy, fruity yet malty. Brown sugar or molasses over dark fruits. Full body lightened by the altogether creamy texture brought on by the artistic application of tiny bubbles. Full flavored, classic Belgian yeast mixed with rich dark fruit tastes. The alcoholic content is incredibly well hidden. The simultaneous nose, mouth, flavor combination of this one makes for an amazing drinker. I hereby amend my list of resolutions for 2008 to include serious further "consideration" of Belgian Strong Dark Ales!

Photo of dcmchew
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 2015, so i guess it's pretty fresh.
Dark brown, almost black pour, beige two finger fluffy head, great retention, moderately sticky. Half a finger of milky foam stuck around untill i finished the glass actually. Looks great.
Smell of Belgian sugars/caramel, dark malts, raisin and dry fig, as expected, really balanced, but not so strong.
Taste is heavy with dark fruit, with huge amounts of raisin, some dry figs and dates, plums with a bit of sour juiciness and faint berries. All these covered in caramel (alongside some light Belgian candi sugar) and set on a canvas of dark bread and biscuity malts. Lots of yeast activity, some nice dark spices kind of feel, with random hints of nutmeg, licorice, cinnamon and clove. Very low hop presence, with a subtle bitterness in the finish.
At first the dark fruit might seem too much, but it gets more balanced as it sits and warms. Alcohol starts to heat up bit by bit too, without being boozy or disturbing at any time.
Low carbonation, just a little prickly fizz, creamy and chewy, feels rather heavy, but it fits with the roundness of the taste.
A great tasty dark trappist, tho some might be disappointed by the apparent simplicity of the brew. I myself found it to be perfect, a great example for Belgian dark ales.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

ruby. clear. rich in color like stained cherry wood. light bubbles collect on the surface. quite deceptive, they create a wall of lacing like whipped egg whites. settles into rich thick clouds atop one majestic brew. smell is unexpectedly exciting for a trappist. candi sugar is prevalent, but fermentation sweet spice and notes of horse blanket show up at the party. fruits are here too, but seem young. more banana and red berries than dark, dried currants and things of the like. first thing to hit my mouth is the creamy, retentive foam. it adds a silk texture to the complex, sweer bread and monastic ABV warmth. something exists in this beer beyond the regular achel bruin (besides alcohol).. it's a darker, more evil trappist brew.

some serious malt bitters the background to contrast the brighter fruit spectrum. it is my understanding that this was once the christmas achel, and as often happens with holiday beers like affligem and scaldis, the experimentation shown by the brewery adds to an already stellar beer.

stands complimentary along achel 8 bruin as something totally different.. evolved.. and equally respectable. more of a once-in-a-while thing, but perfect for those special occassions.. (in this case, the contender final episode).

Photo of crookedhalo
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

75 cl capped bottle best before 12/2007. Pours a turbid, sienna brown color with a fluffy tan head that lasts for a while. Particulary complex nose; malt, plum-like fruitiness, yeasty, cocoa and some alcohol notes. Clovey phenolic and vinous, with ample maltiness and caramelly sweetness, dark fruit notes like plum and currant, and a pungent yeastiness; lightly hopped, drying the finish a bit. Alcohol esters are sharp, but melded pretty well with all the other amalgamation of flavors. Ample carbonation keeps it light and crisp on the tongue, enhancing the overall experience. A thin cap of foam lasts all to way to the bottom of the goblet. A very nice Trappist overall, and the best in the Achel line of ales.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml green flask dimpled base bottle. Unlike the Brune and Blonde the Achelse Kluis has its own unique label which has a picture of the Abbeye above the words ‘Achelse Kluis Bruin Bier/Biere Brune Extra’. Listed at Alc. 9,5° Vol and Best Before 12-07.

Appearance: Nowhere near as good as the “smaller” 8° Brune that I just had. Whilst the body has the same dark brown color with darkened amber highlights, this time it has a slight hazed looked. The big difference is the head, it forms easily but rescinds quickly back into the body of the brew, leaving a tan colored halo and the merest wisps of lacing.

Nose: Thankfully, only the appearance is different from the 8° Brune. The nose, yet again, has lots of smooth malts, raisins, dark fruits, figs, prunes and some vanilla too. But this time the aromas are more powerful and have a slightly sweeter aspect than the 8° Brune. A stronger more candied and alcoholic Brune nose which can be brutally punching at times.

Taste: A malty chocolate rich beginning with some ovaltine like qualities, thick and very rich malts start to finish. Honeycombed dark fruits trapped in the viscous malts break out in the latter third. Solid and bold, it’s a crotch kicking Brune that has no surprises, but whilst it is a big example of the style it still retains some refined Trappiste character.

Mouthfeel: Raw and powerful, thick malts and unrefined molasses build in the strength. A Brune on steroids it takes some getting used to.

Drinkability: Nowhere as silky as the 8° Brune, the 9.5° Brune Extra has a harsher almost rude yet raw powerful character at times. Whereas the 8° Brune has a fine smooth performance for the everyday Freeway, the 9.5° Brune Extra is stripped down and is a high performance Street Racer, the Radio, luxury interior and fancy dashboard have all gone to make way for a Rally thoroughbred full of dials. No excess baggage here, this one is a High Performance Drag Racing Brune.

Overall: I really enjoyed the 8° Brune, and whilst this is supposed to be a ‘Brune Extra’, the delinquent appearance detracted from this one a little. Now, of course, this could well be the result of poor handling so I’m hesitant to be too harsh here. Nevertheless, for the “Extra” [read “Extra Powerful and Extra Raw”] Brune, this one lacks the smooth rich mature aspects of the 8° Brune but it makes up for that with its fast heart beat inducing Street Racing nature. The Achelse Kluis is a Powerful Brune, which maybe needs some aging to get the best from it, though given the under-carbonated example I had, I would have to know that the sample I decided to cellar was in better shape. Still, it is worth trying and well worth cellaring.

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750cl into Westvleteren chalice.

A. Pours a 1 finger head. Pretty thick lacing. Has a permanent head of about a centimeter. Color is very dark brown.

S. Really good. Wonderful mix of spice, and dark fruit. Get some clove and belgian yeast spicing up the mix along with raisins, figs, and the oh so good dark grape aroma. Really good smelling BSDA.

T. Nice balance of a wealth of flavors. Get spice, hops, dark fruit, sweet malt, brown sugar, rasisins, figs, Belgian yeast. Finishes on the sweet side. Get a little bit of hop bite, and some earthiness in the middle.

M. Medium/full bodied. Medium/low carbonation. Finishes sweet.

O. World class, I would agree with. However there are a lot of beers in that upper echelon, and I would have to rank this middle of the pack for that World Class group. Very well balanced, and extremely easy drinking. Lots of depth in the aroma and flavor. Nice balance of dry and sweet.

Photo of draheim
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL (best before 9/16/2015) into a tulip. Pours a cloudy mahogany w/ a big fluffy off-white head, tons of sticky lace.

Aroma is a big burst of dark stone fruits - figs, dates, raisins, plums - plus brown sugar, clean bready malt, Belgian yeast. Nice floral aromas coming through from the Old World hops too.

Taste is rich and complex, sweet but not sugary. Dried figs and dates, spices, rich sweet dark malt, toffee, and a warming touch of booze. Floral and spicy, lively.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied, almost thick. Creamy. Carbonation is perfect, finishes pretty dry.

Overall an outstanding BSDA, up there with the best.

Photo of Aarstad
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%

Photo of Footballtennishockeygolf
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Mora2000
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by thirdeye11.

Pours a brown color with a white head. Aroma is yeast and Belgian candi sugar. You also get some caramel. The flavor is caramel with a lot of malted sweetness. The alcohol is definitely present. Medium carbonation and extremely drinkable, even for 9.5 percent ABV.

Photo of ADR
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big ass 750 of this seems like a good one for beer review # 1,000...

Completely opaque darker brown color, head is light ochre and good in an open Trois Pistoles chalice. Laces in sheets with holes tearing through. Aroma is sharp -- raisins, lime juice, mink oil, lots of yeasty perfume. Flavor goes in a slightly different direction and is solidly matched by a good medium mouthfeel. Very plummy, clove gum, and a back up of dried current, sweeter than the aroma implies. Becomes more molasses-like on warming, a white rum kind of deal. Hopping is a trace effect at best, but the wild and slightly astringent aroma matches well with the stolid body and malty flavors. Could use just a trace more complexity to the latter. Plenty of beer to experience here, though.

Photo of Auraan
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich, dark, almost blackish brown color, with a one finger tan head that grew to a two finger head before receding to a thick foam leaving abundant lacing down the glass. Very nice, well done example of the style. Scents of dark fruit especially plume, some fig, red grape, slight grape skin, bready malt, hints of candi sugar, Belgian yeast, and some honey and cream, along with some wild sour and tannin like aromas all mingling together. As it warms apricot enters the aroma profile as well. Very pleasant, fruity, sweet and complex aroma with some nice wild yeast detectable. Very good, true to style but also unique in its own way. Taste begins with a boozy, sweet, fruity flavors with notes of alcohol, raisin, grape, plum, prune and fig flavors along with some sugary, caramel-like flavors, candi sugar and slight bready malt. Some slight sour flavors are present in the background throughout the sip. Alcohol and candi sugar notes remain present throughout with sour notes becoming more prominent on the middle and end of the sip. Tannins and slight red wine flavors join the fruity and caramel flavors in the middle and finish, but in a subdued fashion, while the bready malts drop off. Abundant alcohol on the finish as well as faint earthy Belgian hop and faint Belgian yeast spiciness and some sour notes. Aftertaste is earthy hops and alcohol. A very fruity, sweet, yet also sour flavor profile that is quite complex, though not to the degree of Rochefort 10. Still very well executed with a variety of flavors on the display. The Mouthfeel is sticky and medium-heavy bodied with moderate carbonation, a slight acidic sting and a bit of an alcohol burn. Semi-drying. A good, pleasant sipping beer mouthfeel, true to style. Not quaffable, but that's not what the style is about. Overall quite the nice Trappist dark ale. True to the bones of the style but with a unique character due to the red wine and sour notes with a wonderful aroma and flavor and a nice sipping mouthfeel, quite nice and worth the $20 I paid to try it.

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle

A - Color is dark brown with a reddish copper color under light. Medium creamy head with plenty of lacing. Lots of sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

S - Aroma is sweetly malty and floral. As I let the beer warm it produced a grape aroma that was not present when it was cold. Also as it warmed the aroma became more woodsy and rich almost like sassafras.

T - Tastes sweet with good alcoholic warmth. It has the yeasty flavor of fresh baked bread. Middle is caramel and toffee with a slightly astringent alcohol bite. As the beer warms beyond 50 degrees, there is a flavor like tea. Definitely better when it is in the 45 – 50 degree range.

M - Lightly carbonated as you would expect for a high alcohol brew. When I first opened the bottle and it was colder, there was more carbonation. Thick, viscous feeling in the mouth.

D - Great beer. Beer like this really makes me want to travel to Belgium. This a great sipping beer. I could drink this all night.

Photo of mscudder
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 served in a chalice.

A - Deep brown hue with a one-finger ivory head. Retention was short lived but left fair lacing.

S - Dark fruits, dark fruits and then more dark fruits. Lots of plum, sweet raisin, touch of fig and nutmeg. Perhaps a bit of citrus.

T- Sweeter on the tongue than on the nose. Nice esters and a dry taste throughout. Flavors follow from those described on the nose, although more distinctive courtesy of candi sugar.

M - Medium body with lively carbonation. I would prefer a fuller body with a touch less dryness. Well done nonetheless.

O - This is a strong showing that I can see enjoying on a number of occasions. A bit steep at $18, but you get what you pay for.... and this is excellent.

Photo of FreshHawk
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark and cloudy mahogany and chestnut brown with a bit of a dark red hue and a good amount of yeast floating. Smaller than average tight, foamy head that settles pretty fast into a thin foamy lace that concentrates on one side.

S - Burnt brown sugar and molasses along with some caramel malt sweetness. Some dark and dried fruit covering all kinds of dark fruit. Some earthy, nutty and cocoa aroma comes out in the background. Some spices and yeast present, but not overly strong.

T - Similar to the nose. Strong burnt brown sugar and molasses sweetness along with some caramel malt. Dark fruit was present, but not dominant, or all that strong given the style. Mid sip brings some earthy and herbal bitterness along with a good amount of nutty and earthy flavors. Also touches of cocoa in the background. Sweet earthy nuttiness comes out stronger toward the finish. Just faint spiced and yeast flavor.

M - Medium body with a bit below average carbonation. Fairly creamy and smooth.

D - Very drinkable with some sweetness and very smooth and creamy. Nice mix of sweeter malt and earthy/nutty flavor. Very easy to drink beer.

Notes: Best before 16/07/11. Very enjoyable beer with good subtle flavors and a good amount of sweet nutty and earthy flavors. Dark fruit isn't as strong as others in the style, but is present. Very enjoyable beer to drink. Definitely worth getting.

Photo of roblowther
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 bottle, aged @ about 58F, opened 1/11. Pours with an effervescent, frothy head that settles into a creamy layter that leaves nice lacing. The beer is ruddy mahogany and just gorgeous, really. The smell is raisins, cherries, cranberries, leather and a sugary caramel that makes the beer seem it will be very sweet (which the fresher examples I've had indicate it can be). The taste is just wonderful. That leather hits first, then cacao, a slight sharpness, a hint of sweet, then a lovely dry, earthy finish that just makes you want more. The mouthfeel is slight carbonation and then a slickness, a bit lighter than it looks or tastes. Drinkability is great, the alcohol is just a warm afterthought and the balance between the sweet and dry makes it go down very easy. To be honest, this has always been at the bottom of the Trappist list but aging this thing really brings out a lot that you don't get with the fresh stuff, beating out what we had at the monastery even though those glasses had the "I'm drinking it where its made with the monks after searching for this place forever" cachet. A VERY nice surprise!

Photo of grub
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

750ml bottle. sampled oct 4/08.

pours deep red, not quite brown, with some serious chunks toward the end of the bottle. nice garnet and ruby hues when held to the light. a big fluffy tan head forms, dropping slowly and leaving lots of lace.

aroma is great. loads of fruit. dark fruit - raisin, date, plum. lighter fruits - kiwi, passion fruit, guava. bit of alcohol. light belgian yeast character. cracker and white bread. touch of caramel. brown sugar. rock candi sugar.

taste is great. lots of fruit here too. raisin, grape, date, plum up front that fades into a bit of alcohol and caramelized sugar. there's less of the ripe tropical fruits in the taste, but still a hint. cracker and white bread. bit of biscuit. some yeasty character.

mouthfeel is good. just above medium carbonation, but well integrated and fairly smooth. just above medium body too, but it works.

drinkability is great. love the depth to the fruit and the solid malty character. great balance, hiding its alcohol very well. a great example of the style. thanks eric!

Photo of BEERchitect
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I must say that it is always a pleasure to drink any Belgian beer, much less one of this caliber for the very first time. True to Trappist Grand Cru fashion, this beer proves to be delicate, complex, powerful, and graceful all at once.

Fruity aromas begin with a grapey/raison flavor- met with figs, dates, and cola. Confectionate sweetness mixes with the malts for an appetizing and moutwatering delight.

The beer pours a medium brown, solid burgundy, rusty-hazy hue with light carbonation for a Belgian ale. A thin sheet of lace tops the beer and hands on to pockets of foam until the end of the session. Not the rocky head or effervescent carbonation that I'm used to seeing in stately Belgian ales.

The candied flavors of stone (dark, dehydrated) fruits continue in taste where the aromas layed off. Juicy plumbs, grapes, and apples turn to aged fruits of raisons, prunes, and figs as the beer warms. Light and herbal hops add to a balance against the powdered sugar focused malt sweetness. Cola nut and sweet rum give an insight to the rare intangibles that it takes to turn a great beer into a world class one. Savory and succulent thorughout.

Though sweetly textured throughout, the beer shows a sugary feel early on but then warms into a fleeting and powdery sweetness that morphs into sweet and dry alcohols and mild warmth- far lower than the impression of 9.5% abv. Simply effortless to drink, this beer exceeds all expectations.

Photo of beergeek279
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 750 mL bottle, into a large snifter. The color was a dark amber, with a thick beige head that held long after the beer was poured. The smell was a very slight fruitiness. The taste was a very rich fruity bouquet as well as a nice yeastiness to it. Mouthfeel was syrupy thick. As for drinkability, I could definitely have a few.

Achel has been called the weakest of the Trappist breweries, and perhaps rightly so. This beer is a statement, though, that they want to make high-quality beers, and here they have. A fantastic beer and IMO better than Chimay Grand Reserve, and one I'll hope to have again. One of the best pleasures was being able to share this one with fellow BAs, and thank you to JacktheRipper for buying this round!

Photo of impending
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A

750ml into a tulip. Pours a murky dark chestnut. With encouragement a dense coffee colored head towers, nice clumping froth.

Aroma is rich in complexity, airy dark fruits, grape, spices and fractal phenols. Superb

Fairly low in sweetness which seems most pronounced in the finish. Considerable raisins. The long lasting aftertaste has a sharply defined phenolic note, till tomorrow. A mild bittering but not of hops. Strong vinous notes with a dab of rum. Medium bodied smooth mouthfeel. Tremendous complexity, warms wonderfully.
cheers
jd

Achel Trappist Extra from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
95 out of 100 based on 418 ratings.